Mount Pleasant Wines is a legendary Australian winery with a history of over 100 years. Founded in 1921 in Pokolbin, Hunter Valley, NSW by Maurice O’Shea, who is considered to have produced some of the finest wines ever made in Australia. Maurice studied oenology in France and on his return to Australia bought the Old Hill vineyard, which had been planted with Shiraz and Pinot Noir since 1880. In 1921 he bought two neighboring estates, the Old Paddock and the Estate Vineyard, which he planted with Shiraz. In 1946, two more vineyards were planted; Lovedale, planted with Semillon, and Rosehill, planted with Shiraz. These four 70-140-year-old vineyards are still productive and offer Mount Pleasant’s finest wines. Shiraz has a dense, silky texture and aromas of earth, tar, and ink.
The Hunter Valley, however, is equally or even better known for the dry Semillon whites it produces. It is located a two-hour drive north of Sydney, in an area that theoretically has all the conditions for the production of top wines: heat, extreme humidity, afternoon clouds, and rainfall. It is the northernmost and therefore warmest region, located in the Southern Hemisphere, among the classic wine regions of Australia. And yet, these extreme subtropical climate conditions lead to the production of magnificent dry Semillons of exceptional longevity, the best of which develop beautifully even 10-20 years after harvest offering a honeyed, buttery, dry Carpathian character. As of 2018, Adrian Sparks has taken on the role of Chief Winemaker, only the fifth person to hold the role in a history spanning over a century.